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Dr. Ahad Fazelat 

Ahad Fazelat works to make sure blindness is not an option for vets


BEDFORD — Dr. Ahad Fazelat wants veterans to know that he is vested in their lives so they can receive treatment for chronic eye diseases locally and at a reasonable cost.


Fazelat and his partners at Bellows, Goodman, Shaker and Siegal (BGSS) Medical Eye Center in Manchester, are contracted with the Veterans Administration to provide treatment of macular degeneration and other retinal diseases.


Fazelat, 39, said many veterans, most of whom are men, often have to travel two hours round-trip to Boston for five-hour visits, something he feels prevents some of them from receiving treatment. The lack of treatment can cause blindness, and Fazelat said that's not an option.


"I believe a lot of veterans get care as much as they can and tertiary services are sent to Massachusetts. They would have to travel to Boston 12 times a year, and I feel they become disenfranchised. It puts a strain on them financially and emotionally," he said. "It's a way for us to provide the tertiary services the veterans need locally."


He focuses on developing a treatment geared toward each patient and their needs, which also offers them hope.


"Everything in my practice is centered around treatment plans. I don't want them to think, and I've heard, that because of the financial stresses it makes them feel they're just a number," he said.


Fazelat was described in the nomination for the 40 Under Forty program as having a bedside manner that puts his patients at ease, regardless of their age, ethnic or economic status. He attributes this demeanor as innate and environmental.


"Being the youngest of eight children, I always had elderly parents, and many of my patients are elderly. For me, it is uncanny that patients would take on the persona of my parents, and it's easy for me to understand their needs and communicate with them," he said. "They look the same, have the same characteristics, and they even smell the same as my mom and dad. It has served me well in my practice. If you can't identify with your patients, you can't really understand the problem."


Fazelat was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and his father predicted the coup of 1978 and that the country would fall. His family moved to England when he was 3 years old, and he came to the United States in 1980 when he was age 5. He grew up in Missouri, where he earned his bachelor's degree. His pursuit of a medical degree took him to New York and Boston. Before he went to medical school, he was working with a glaucoma specialist, which led him to specialize in surgical ophthalmology.


Fazelat and his wife, Joyia Fazelat, an emergency room physician at the Elliot Hospital, have three children, Sammy, 5, Anna, 3, and Joseph, 1. The family moved to Bedford in 2011, however, Joyia was raised in Bedford, and attended Peter Woodbury School and The Derryfield School.


Fazelat said he admires Pope Francis because he goes out of his way to understand people.


"I read stories about when he was in Argentina he would live like a miser. He continues to live in an austere environment, and I hear he goes out in laymen's clothing at night to help the poor. I think that's admirable," said Fazelat. "If you're delivering a message or medical care, you have to understand the people you're trying to help."

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28th Annual Chocolate Festival 28th Annual Chocolate Festival
Sunday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

FattyFest FattyFest
Saturday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Boogie Wonder Band Boogie Wonder Band
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

USASA BoarderSkier Cross USASA Boarder/Skier Cross
Saturday, 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

March 15 Reception

The Union Leader’s 40 Under Forty program recognizes some of the state’s brightest young achievers who have a record of professional and volunteer accomplishments in New Hampshire. It is generously sponsored by Citizens Bank and presented in partnership with the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire.

When:Wednesday March 15, 2017 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Grappone Conference Center
70 Constitution Avenue
Concord, NH 03301

Tickets: There are no physical tickets for the event. Attendees can check in upon arrival.

Click here to register

Contact: Emily Whalen
New Hampshire Union Leader
603-206-7834
ewhalen@unionleader.com

THANKS TO OUR PROGRAM SPONSOR

Class of 2017

Michael Solari, 33, Goffstown

Michael Solari, 33, Goffstown

Michael Solari, 33, of Goffstown is principal owner of Solari Financial.

Rachelle Beaudoin, 35, Peterborough

Rachelle Beaudoin, 35, Peterborough

Rachelle Beaudoin, 35, of Peterborough is an artist and lecturer of Visual Art, College of the Holy Cross.

Paul C. Smith, 36, Epsom

Paul C. Smith, 36, Epsom

Paul C. Smith, 36, of Epsom is clerk of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

Molly Sanborn, 37, Concord

Molly Sanborn, 37, Concord

Molly Sanborn, 37, of Concord is director of development and marketing at CATCH Neighborhood Housing.

Justin Slattery, 36, Concord

Justin Slattery, 36, Concord

Justin Slattery, 36, is Concord is executive director of Belknap Economic Development Council.

Rebecca Perkins, 34, Portsmouth

Rebecca Perkins, 34, Portsmouth

Rebecca Perkins, 34, of Portsmouth is associate general counsel at Enel Green Power North America.

Arnold Mikolo, 25, Manchester

Arnold Mikolo, 25, Manchester

Arnold Mikolo, 25, of Manchester is community liaison with St. Anselm College; vice president with the Congolese of New Hampshire; ESL instructor with Manchester Community College; medical...

Tilak Niroula, 28, Manchester

Tilak Niroula, 28, Manchester

Tilak Niroula, 28, of Manchester is communication manager at Bhutanese Community of New Hampshire, residential instructor at Easter Seals.

Norri Oberlander, 34, Londonderry

Norri Oberlander, 34, Londonderry

Norri Oberlander, 34, of Londonderry is vice president of North End Properties Inc., aka Landlady in Downtown Manchester

Lyndsee D. Paskalis, 34, Bedford

Lyndsee D. Paskalis, 34, Bedford

Lyndsee D. Paskalis, 34, of Bedford is an attorney (partner) with Stebbins, Lazos & Van Der Beken, P.A.

Joshua McAllister, 37, Center Conway

Joshua McAllister, 37, Center Conway

Joshua McAllister, 37, Center Conway is partner/vice-president/senior civil engineer at HEB Engineers, Inc.; varsity baseball coach, Kennett High School.

Keith Young, 33, Groveton

Keith Young, 33, Groveton

Keith Young, 33, of Groveton is partner at Geo. M. Stevens and Son Co.; moderator for the town as needed; part owner with my wife of First Step Fitness Centeral.

Doug Martin, 34, New Boston

Doug Martin, 34, New Boston

Doug Martin, 34, of New Boston is a commercial real estate advisor for Colliers International.

Ann L. Fournier, 39, Bedford

Ann L. Fournier, 39, Bedford

Ann L. Fournier, 39, Bedford is an instructor in the Department of Nursing at Saint Anselm College.

Tate H. Aldrich, 30, Laconia

Tate H. Aldrich, 30, Laconia

Tate H. Aldrich, 30, of Laconia is an English teacher and English Department chairman at Laconia High School.

Justin Boufford, 36, Manchester

Justin Boufford, 36, Manchester

Justin Boufford, 36, of Manchester is an account executive for Boyd & Boufford Insurance Agency LLC.

James Brewer, 35, Portsmouth

James Brewer, 35, Portsmouth

James Brewer, 35, of Portsmouth is vice president, middle market lender, Kennebunk Savings Bank.

Samantha Kenney Maltais, 30, Loudon

Samantha Kenney Maltais, 30, Loudon

Samantha Kenney Maltais, 30, of Loudon is principal strategist and marketing manager, SilverTech Inc.

Tyler Gouveia, 18, Nashua

Tyler Gouveia, 18, Nashua

Tyler Gouveia, 18, of Nashua is CEO and majority owner of T Town Sports, full-time student at Suffolk University.

Kati Lary Jopek, 32, Canaan

Kati Lary Jopek, 32, Canaan

Kati Lary Jopek, 32, of Canaan is regional recreation coordinator for Mascoma Valley Parks & Recreation (part time); USA Field Hockey umpire (high school and college); basketball and softball coach;...

Nate Alberts, 34, Franconia

Nate Alberts, 34, Franconia

Nate Alberts, 34, of Franconia is owner of Nate Alberts Painting; founder and executive director of North Country Community Radio.

Ryan K. Frew, 36, Manchester

Ryan K. Frew, 36, Manchester

Ryan K. Frew, 36, Manchester is head coach and general manager of the N.H. Jr. Monarchs.

Tim Baines, 37, Manchester

Tim Baines, 37, Manchester

Tim Baines, 37, of Manchester is owner and operator of Mint Bistro.

Kathleen A. Davidson, 35, Pembroke

Kathleen A. Davidson, 35, Pembroke

Kathleen A. Davidson, 35, of Pembroke is an attorney at Hage Hodes, P.A.

Sandi Coyle, 38, Exeter

Sandi Coyle, 38, Exeter

Sandi Coyle, 38, of Exeter is executive director of Granite Pathways.

Tyler Brown, 29, Manchester

Tyler Brown, 29, Manchester

Tyler Brown, 29, of Manchester is an account manager at CGI Business Solutions.

Joe Whitten, 30, Manchester

Joe Whitten, 30, Manchester

Joe Whitten, 30, of Manchester is chief executive officer of Apparel Impact.

Paul J. Bauer, 37, Newfields

Paul J. Bauer, 37, Newfields

Paul J. Bauer, 37, of Newfields is an attorney with Devine Millimet & Branch, P.A.

Matt Walsh, 38, Concord

Matt Walsh, 38, Concord

Matt Walsh, 38, of Concord is director of redevelopment, downtown services and special projects for the City of Concord.

Rio H. Tilton, 20, Seabrook

Rio H. Tilton, 20, Seabrook

Rio H. Tilton, 20, of Seabrook is a real estate agent at Lighthouse Real Estate in Seabrook, state Representative for District 37 representing Seabrook, Hampton Falls and Hampton.

Chad Theroux, 32, Manchester

Chad Theroux, 32, Manchester

Chad Theroux, 32, of Manchester is director of finance for the Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions Product Line at BAE Systems.

Jonathan Sadowski, 39, Concord

Jonathan Sadowski, 39, Concord

Jonathan Sadowski, 39, of Concord is a special education teacher at Manchester High School Central.

Ned Sackman, 38, Concord

Ned Sackman, 38, Concord

Ned Sackman, 38, of Concord is a commercial litigation attorney and shareholder at Bernstein Shur, P.A.

Jenna Raizes, 32, Epping

Jenna Raizes, 32, Epping

Jenna Raizes, 32, of Epping is deputy general manager at New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Charles W. Kriete, 39, Salem

Charles W. Kriete, 39, Salem

Charles W. Kriete, 39, of Salem is senior vice president of Tessco Technologies.

Laura Gamache, 32, Manchester

Laura Gamache, 32, Manchester

Laura Gamache, 32, of Manchester is a real estate agent/Realtor with Gamache Real Estate Group of Keller Williams Realty.

Jessica Eskeland, 31, Concord

Jessica Eskeland, 31, Concord

Jessica Eskeland, 31, of Concord is coordinator at N.H. Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

Matthew T. James, 35, Londonderry

Matthew T. James, 35, Londonderry

Matthew T. James, 35, of Londonderry is a commercial lender at Eastern Bank.

Liz Hitchcock, 38, Manchester

Liz Hitchcock, 38, Manchester

Liz Hitchcock, 38, of Manchester is a philanthropist.

George S. Hansel, 31, Keene

George S. Hansel, 31, Keene

George S. Hansel, 31, of Keene is co-owner of Filtrine Manufacturing Company and an At-Large Keene City Councilor.

Class of 2018 Nominations

Please summarize below the nominee's professional and volunteer accomplishments, and other special factors that you feel make them deserving of this recognition. Please include complete contact information for nominee.

For more information on the 40 Under 40 program, contact Shannon K. Sullivan, Community Relations Manager, 603-206-7833 or ssullivan@unionleader.com.

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